Rare in Inveraray

Our Scottish Explorer trip differs from the RYA Mile Building ones as it will have stops based on the weather and crew aspirations. One possible stop is Inveraray with its well preserved jail and courthouse. One of the recorded crimes was bestiality with a Mare with the guilty man being deported and the Mare being flogged. Whether on our RYA courses or Mile builder sailing all we request is you are an active team member who joins in and helps others enjoy the week.

Midget Submarines revisited

As part of our Scottish cruising and Mile building sailing programme we may visit Port Banntyne the the 2nd WW base of X Boats, the Midget Submarines that sank the Tripitz and laid the Navigation marks through the minefields off the D-Day beaches.

Whilst our RYA mile builder programme is quite ‘full-on’ the scottish Explorer cruise will have a maximum of one overnight passage and the majority of nights spent in Marinas, plus several Dinners ashore.

Prevailing Winds?

The prevailing winds in the UK are said to come from the SW and over a year this is correct but in May the NE can prevail. Understanding the bigger picture is important when planning the sailing season and one of the reasons why the May trip is called Scottish Explorer rather than having a target destination.

Unlike the RYA and Mile Builder Sailing trips we will see what the weather does and bear in mind that there is some superb cruising in the Firth of Clyde as well as some useful RYA Mile Building. The other thing to remember is when the NE changes in May it is often very quickly to a SW and then back again.

Picture of Helsal 3 with paul on during 2010 Sydney to Hobart when the prevailing NE wind off Australia suddenlt turned to a ‘Southerly Buster’

Cold start to race season

The first training event for the Volvo Round Ireland Race was over the weekend. After a snowy Friday Saturday was warmer and on Sunday the sun shone and the thermometer almost reached double figures. As well as the basics plus a couple of MOBs training we covered 54 NM, visited the 2nd oldest Pub in England and, after a few drinks, had Quantitative easing comprehensively explained to us.

Pic of some of the team ‘Bonding’

After the VRIR Wild spirit is back to Troon for some more RYA mile builder sailing off Scotland and Ireland

Berth at your convenience

As well as our Mile building sailing in Scotland this summer we have a comparatively leisurely 8 day trip in Mid-May called ‘Scottish Explorer’. Starting from Troon we have a choice of going out round the Mull of Kintyre if the weather is good or staying in the Firth of Clyde if it isn’t. This is not a RYA course but like our Mile builder sailing it allows those who want to develop their sailing skills and we may well visit small harbours such as Rothesay with its lovingly restored Victorian Public Conveniences (picture). Once through the lifting bridge and safely tucked up alongside a pontoon you are in one of the most sheltered spots in Scotland and , of course, facilities are conveniently close by.

Miles and Miles

A picture of Fixed mile posts at Swanage during a RYA course. 4 posts in total as 2 sets of 2 giving a Nautical Mile as the shortest course between the 2 transits they form. Post or Marks giving leading lines in and out of Harbours are things we may use during our Mile Building sailing out to the Hebrides. I would far rather rely on them than a chart plotter but we will be using both though during our Mile Builder RYA courses in Scotland.

C600 race report

Half the fleet retired and unfortunately this included us. Exceptionally strong trade winds with 4m seas meant it should have been a good race for us and after 23 hrs we had sailed 230 miles and were looking good. Beating up to St Maartens in over 30kts we went to the 2nd reef which broke and in the short time it took the team to get the main back in control we had more damage to the sail than I could successfully repair at sea. The strong winds continued for most of the race with over 50 kts at times off Guadeloupe, an area known for its wind shadow. All the team survived intact and enjoyed themselves. There were several injuries during the race and one Catamaran overturned.

A Bit Cold over here

Paul is back from the Caribbean tomorrow and will be working on the RYA Mile building courses next week. A couple of people have asked exactly where will vist on a trip. The truth is that we don’t really know until we have the weather forecasts and know the strengths and aspirations of the people on board. The Mile Builders are great for those working towards their YachtMaster offshore or coastal and at this level it is best to be aware of the SOLAS requirements–https://mcanet.mcga.gov.uk/public/c4/solas/solas_v/Annexes/Annex24.htm

Pic from Caribbean 600 race in 2017

Ready, Steady, Go

The Caribbean 600 starts tomorrow in Falmouth Antigua and Paul is skippering Spirit of Juno a Farr 65, seen close tacking in this picture just after the start in 2017. In April we will finish the first of our RYA Mile Builders in Falmouth, Cornwall. This mile building passage is full, as is the next one to Dublin, but there is one place left on the RYA mile builder from Dublin to Troon and several on the later Mile building trips out to the Hebrides off Scotland.

May be a slight delay in answering e-mails but either Judith or I will respond.